Mark Watson, an Army veteran with more than 760,000 subscribers to his “Soldier Knows Best” tech reviews, asked the first YouTube question at tonight’s Republican debate. Watson, he said, lives near Ferguson, Missouri, and spoke to the tension between police and citizens. Since we have “better cameras in our pockets than in our precincts,” he asked why we aren’t using more body cameras.
It was an excellent question, and one I never thought I’d hear at this debate. But I also knew immediately who would get the first chance to respond: primary also-ran Rand Paul, who talks a good game about criminal justice reform in the Senate and in his campaign.
Paul knocked the answer out of the park, noting that the corruption of Ferguson’s civil government and the War on Drugs have had a deleterious effect on black communities. “Drug use is about equal between white and black,” Paul said, “but three out of four people in prison are black or brown.” He called for change, and said it’s “a big thing our party needs to be part of.”
All good. But then Fox News went to a commercial. No other candidate on the stage, all of whom arguably have much poorer records on criminal justice reform, faced Watson’s question. We know what Paul thinks. I know it’s Fox News, but I can’t settle for not hearing every candidate’s ideas on such a vital subject.